Los Angeles, Calif. - The finalists in the feature film category of the 24th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards competition are Barry Ackroyd, BSC for The Hurt Locker; Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS for Nine; Christian Berger, AAC for The White Ribbon; Mauro Fiore, ASC for Avatar; and Robert Richardson, ASC for Inglorious Basterds. The winner will be announced during the ASC Awards celebration at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on February 27.
"It is a daunting challenge for our members to narrow a very competitive field down to five films that represent the most artful cinematography we have seen during the past year," says ASC president Michael Goi. "We believe these very different films have set the contemporary standard for compelling visual storytelling."
Beebe previously won the ASC Award for Memoirs of a Geisha in 2006, and earned another nomination for Collateral. This is the ninth nomination for Richardson (Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, A Few Good Men, Heaven & Earth, The Horse Whisperer, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Aviator, The Good Shepherd).
All films eligible for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar competition were candidates for the ASC Outstanding Achievement Award. Last year's ASC winner in the feature category - Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC, DFF for Slumdog Millionaire - went on to take home the Academy Award.
Goi notes that art and craft of cinematography is a global language. Fiore was born in Italy, Berger is Austrian, Ackroyd is British, Beebe was born in Australia, and Richardson is a native of the United States.
"Our members conceived this annual competition to let our peers know that their colleagues believe they have set the contemporary standard for artful cinematography," says ASC Awards Committee chairman Richard Crudo. "It requires mastering a complex craft which enables them to help create a sense of time and place while evoking emotions that augment the intentions of everyone involved in the collaborative process." He adds, "We hope that this celebration also inspires a broad appreciation of the art of cinematography, and inspires the next generation to reach for the stars."
The association previously announced its TV nominees. They are: Alar Kivilo ASC, CSC for "Taking Chance;" Rene Ohashi, ASC, CSC for "Jesse Stone: Thin Ice and Jerzy Zielinski;" ASC for "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler" in the television movie/miniseries category. In the episodic/pilot television category, nominees include Eagle Egilsson for "Dark Blue;" Jeffrey Jur, ASC for "FlashForward;" Michael Price for "Ugly Betty;" Christian Sebaldt, ASC for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation;" and Glen Winter, CSC for the "Smallville."
The ASC was founded in January 1919 by 15 charter members, who were dedicated to advancing the art and craft of filmmaking during the dawn of the industry. There are some 300 active members today, and 150 associates from allied sectors of the motion picture and television industries.